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Graduate Information

FAQs by Applicants

  1. Is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) required?
    Yes, the GRE is required.
  2. The date for mailing the TOEFL and/or the GRE scores is after the deadline for receiving application material(s) which is always during the first week of January. Is this a problem?
    This is not a problem IF the test is taken and results are made available to Princeton University during the Admission process; hence when you take your TOEFL and GRE test you state, on the form, that your test scores may be given to Princeton University. The GRE and TOEFL Code for Princeton University is: 2672. If you need further information about this, please feel free to call the Graduate Admission Office at: (609) 258-3034.
  3. Must I submit a writing sample?
    Yes. We require that a paper written in Spanish or Portuguese (15-25 pages) be submitted with the admissions application. It should be some piece of your work that cogently demonstrates your skill in analyzing literature.
  4. Can credits for graduate work or an M.A. degree taken elsewhere be applied toward the fulfillment of the Ph.D. requirements at Princeton?
    No. We do not use the credit system. Since we do not count our own credits, we do not count credits obtained at other institutions. However, students who have obtained an M.A. elsewhere may, in some cases, move through the Ph.D. program at a faster pace than the one recommended for students who have only the B.A. degree.
  5. What is the "normal" Ph.D. program in Spanish and Portuguese?
    Normally the student devotes the first two and a half years to taking courses. The normal number of one-term courses taken in this period is fourteen. The second half of year three and years four and five are devoted to research and the writing of the dissertation. By the end of the fourth year, a student who has been using the time well is likely to have completed a first draft of the dissertation.
  6. What, precisely, are the requirements for a Ph.D. in Spanish and Portuguese?
    a. One year in residence
    b. Demonstrated ability, before taking the General Examination, to read simple Latin prose and scholarly writing in German, French, or Italian.
    c. Satisfactory performance on the various examinations described in the Department's "Graduate Rules and Procedures".
    d. A dissertation recommended for acceptance by two appointed readers.
    e. Satisfactory performance in the Final Public Oral Examination (on the dissertation and related areas).
  7. What are the chances of remaining at Princeton for the five years?
    We make every effort to provide support for students needing it. This support takes the form of fellowships and stipends for teaching assistantship. Students in good standing can expect this support to be provided for their five years of graduate studies.
  8. What about study abroad?
    If the dissertation research warrants it, the Department makes every effort to enable students to go abroad for a term or a year.